Veganism as a philosophical belief

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This topic contains 23 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  jakelafort 7 months ago.

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    An employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief (like a religious belief) that is protected by law against discrimination. Like dietary vegans, ethical vegans eat a plant-based diet, but go a stage further and try to avoid contact with products derived from any form of animal exploitation. It includes not wearing clothing made of wool or leather and not using products tested on animals.

    At present is it just a ruling from an employment tribunal and as such is not a binding legal precedent but is will have consequences.

    What happens if the sales clerk refuses to scan through a fillet steak or sell leather shoes to a customer because it is against their beliefs?


    Disclosure: I am mostly vegetarian. I do eat some meat but would often go 3 months without noticing I had not eaten any. The fitter I get the less appealing it is to me. I eat in vegan restaurants in Dublin not for ethical reason but because the food is excellent. 



    I got off meat a while ago for ethical reasons.

    Reg, did you read China Study? Which books or articles have influenced you?


    I would say “life experiences” were my biggest influences. In my late teens and until my mid twenties I would have lived the “hippy\anarchist lifestyle” where vegetarianism was mainstream. When I moved back to Ireland I would eat meat occasionally. When, 10 years ago, at 45, I decided to get fit again. I am fitter now (ignoring my current chest complaint, almost cured) than I have ever been having just turned 55. For most of that time I have been 99% vegetarian. I don’t buy myself meat or cook meat in the house, except for the stray cats that hang out (because I feed them meat!) I easily run 5K in 26 or less minutes and am getting faster. My BMI is 22. Resting heart beat is 54bpm. OK Boomer, too much info but all this was achieved without the desire for meat in my diet.

    It was never a conscious decision. I not longer like the taste of it just as I no longer like the taste of alcohol.  I mostly now eat Indian veg dishes. If I do eat meat I feel bloated and heavy afterwards so I think I will quit it completely. I do not need it to survive.

    But the greatest influence on me are the members of Atheist Ireland who all have come to accept that all life on Earth, given the odds of making here “alive” as so slim that all life therefore should have equal rights to live that life out without us killing them when we don’t have to. Many of them became vegans. I left the organization for a year (as I left the country) and they all looked so much healthier when I met them again. Even more now are vegans. All decisions were based upon scientific studies and all “fad” ideas were weeded out first. Everyone updated the group once a month.

    I have always been an environmentalist and when you see the damage done to the planet to make more animal feed and what actually happens to animals in factory farms, I am unable to eat it.

    So I am moving from health reasons only to that of ethical and environmental reasons mostly.

    I have not read the China Study but I an aware of it and the reactions it gets.

    BTW, the meat I did (or do) eat is from a small organic farm.




    Pretty much mirror you. After not being active enough with crap sedentary job in 30s and early 40s, i got fit again. And up until age 45 every year i improved on one of my fitness tests. Hiking mountains is my thing. For upper body i got up to over a 1000 push ups a week but had to quit coz of shoulder injury. Finally have hit the wall and regressed in terms of fitness. Just turned 47. It is frustrating but wtf can you do? I am a lifer unless illness sets in. I know exactly how cool it is to keep getting fitter at an age where most are beginning to fall apart. And the high from killing yourself is great. I have a resting heart rate when i first awaken of 46 or 47. Presumably you can get that down.

    I don’t think the odds of being alive is the most compelling argument for not slaughtering animals. I think the more we are aware they are aware, intelligent and with emotions is it for me. And yeah if we don’t have to slaughter them and can get our nutrition from other sources while doing the environment a solid then it is tough to keep eating meat…

    Nutrition is a tricky topic. It makes sense that we would have it down by now but obviously we do not. Those epidemiological studies without more only give us correlations. And then we have industries pushing propaganda. Very confusing.


    I don’t think the odds of being alive is the most compelling argument for not slaughtering animals.

    I agree. I should have developed that point further. They would consider that animals should have legal  “personhood” status. We should not, as Christians do, consider ourselves to have dominion over them.



    Wish i was 47. Am 57 and hit peak fitness at 55.

    Nice article. American law has treated animals as property-same way the law treated black slaves. One nice development is the recent signing into law by Trump (hey i said sumpin nice bout the orangman) cruelty to animals is a fed. crime. Have not read the statute but i assume all commercially owned animals are not under the protection.

    The problem is i think another of the myriad shitfucks dumped on us by religion. It is where we get the notion that animals are to be exploited and of course special creation. We are only beginning to approach the understanding of other animals and their depth. But there is indeed a huge disconnect when people simply buy their meat in a package at the market. If their cat or dog had to endure what their steak did they would cry bloody murder.



    Animals are yummy and full of protein and essential nutrients and it’s simply asking too much of too many of us to give them up. People can speed up the end of slaughtering animals by funding research that allows economical meat to be grown in a lab (the science is there, the means of cheap mass production is not). Once that happens and the meat passes my own blind taste test…I’ll very happily give up meat. There’s no chance in hell I’ll give up milk or eggs. I simply do not believe yoghurt, parmesean cheese, butter and chicken-eggs will be reproducible in my lifetime. Until veganism can be thoroughly supplemented with vitamins (they currently cannot) then I don’t believe in raising children on a pure vegan malnutrition diet. They can make that choice when they are an adult.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Davis.


    Davis, animals are yummy. Slaves do work i don’t want to do and greatly increase the profitability of my estate. It is simply too much to ask me to till the field myself or replace slave with paid labor. You know that is not a great justification. BTW i sometimes dream i am eating meat! Aint gonna say i don’t miss it.

    LAB GROWN MEAT? I love that idea and can’t wait for lab grown meat. I guess it will have designer fat and fat percentages too. Have you tried the impossible burger? If you have it at Burger King with all the fixins of a whopper it is indistinguishable to most/many. I recommend you watch The Game Changers on netflix. It makes the case that proteins derived from plants which is after all the source of the proteins we derive from animals are more healthy. It may also be the case that we don’t need such a high percentage of protein. And even if you discount the study of vegan/vegetarian 7tb day adventists living significantly longer lives than their meat eating fellow cultists it certainly suggests that there is no harm in it. There was another study in England, i think, where no major advantage to either eaters was learned.

    Reality is that might makes right. It is true throughout history. i WONDER how humans taste. There have been a fair number of cannibals. I guess it tastes like chicken…



    Jake please spare me your analogies…they don’t work. Animals and humans are not comparable in modern human morality. I simply don’t take most vegans seriously because they almost always end up answering the following questions in a very similar way: A building is on fire and you have time to save a helpless crying 12 year old girl or 25 squirrels. What will you do? They almost always say the girl if they are honest and of those who say the squirrels I don’t believe all but a handful would actually do that. If I replace that with your best friend vs 100 squirrels I wouldn’t want to be best friends with the person who picks the squirrels. So unless you’d save the squirrels I’d rather not bother with your comparison of life long human miserable servitude to ending a farm grown animals life and consuming it (which by all means is done in Mediterranean countries humanely all the time and is the meat I usually consume). I don’t believe your answer to the question: would you release a slave from life long servitude or a farm chicken who has it’s eggs taken away at night…would be the chicken. You’d pick animal product eating over slavery. As would most vegans. Which makes their moralizing over animal consumption extremely incomplete at best.

    I didn’t use my reply as a justification. I don’t need to justify my eat meating to anyone who wouldn’t save the 25 squirrels or release the chicken. I’m saying the state of things on Earth in 2020. Good luck coverting the world into veganism within a generation or even two. It’s asking too much. And people’s time would be far better spent trying to end the most grotesque of animal suffering like chicken battery farms, halal slaughters, animal testing etc. then expecting people to give up meat whole sale.

    You completely lost me when you forayed into cannibalism. I’m honestly not sure what that has to do with 21st century western animal ethics.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  Davis.



    I am no vegan. I am no jain. I will spare you some sententious refrain.

    I would save the humans. Sorry squirrels. But i would eat spaghetti and sauce and not the squirrel.

    The analogy i made to slavery is apposite. In both instances there are people exploiting and minimizing the value of their victims. The slave owner in 1807 feels about Niggers the way today’s meat eaters feel about cows and pigs. I am not interested in excusing the exploitation du jour because it is the contemporary state of things. Nor have i ever been a proponent of cultural relativism. I think we are best served examining our conduct and not couching it in a sentiment such as…it is the contemporary state of affairs. Yesterday’s slavery is today’s slaughterhouse. The slave owner either did not know or care that the slave was a person too. Most meat eaters either do not know or care that the pigs and cows in the slaughter house are on a par with their cats and dogs. And it is only the accident of acquaintance which makes their cat and dog sacrosanct while the pig and cow is their dinner.



    Most meat eaters either do not know or care that the pigs and cows in the slaughter house are on a par with their cats and dogs.

    Two delicious words come two mind: Milk, and Bacon.



    Okay Pope,

    I am assuming you know that cows and pigs are on a par with cats and dogs. Further assuming you would not eat your cat or dog and probably not any cat or dog. But you eat pigs cuz bacon is tasty. So you are in the i dont give a shit camp? I will eat you cuz you taste goodly to me me me.

    Yeah i used to love bacon.

    Milk? no no no. It is gross. According to vegans it has blood and puss. Idk if that is true. But i remember thinking as a kid that it is unnatural for adults, let alone kids to drink milk. And then the milk of another species! And it looks like maybe just maybe all the messages about the health effects of milk coming from dairy industry were simply propaganda, that in fact cow’s milk does not do a body good.



    Do vegans also refuse drugs that have been tested on animals? I ask, because that would be just about all drugs because I believe the government requires such testing before drugs can be tried on human subjects.

    If they don’t eschew such drugs, I would view that as a bit of philosophical hypocrisy.



    Indeed Unseen. Hypocracy unbound. I certainly respect people who choose to be vegan (though I worry about the malnutrition involved especially for children forced into veganism by their parents). But the overt lecturing of “it’s wrong to wear fur or eat eggs” done by a minority, a vocal obnoxious one, is so full of holes once you follow their arguments to their shaky non-conclusions. I’m willing to admit I have a strong love for dogs but could care less about cows. That I dislike pointless torture or cruelty to animals but that I’ll poison some rats in my garden if they start becoming a menace to us and our dog. I’m totally willing to admit they are entirely inconsistent positions and that they could not survive the slightest philosophical analysis given. You’re right without any doubt unseen. If they are willing to take medicines that were tested on animals they certainly are hypocrites when campaigning to ban fur.

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